Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Broadwater Theater of the Absurd

Connecticut's LNG task force met in Hartford yesterday to talk about the Shell-TransCanada proposal to put a huge LNG facility in the middle of Long Island Sound, the so-called Broadwater proposal, and representatives of the energy company declined to participate, refused, blew them off -- pick your verb depending on your perspective.

And of course task force members were shocked, shocked! that Broadwater decided not to go along with this this theater of the absurd.

Why theater of the absurd? Because as sure as Long Island Sound is long, the task force is going to come out against the LNG proposal.

Here's what Broadwater's John Hritcko told WTNH in New Haven:

"We have also witnessed members of the task force announcing their intentions to do what they can to stop Broadwater, even before the review and analysis by FERC. This has raised continued concerns about the impartiality of the task force, and this forum," says John Hritcko, VP Broadwater Energy.

WTNH noted:

Both co-chairs, Republican Senator Len Fasano of North Haven, and Democrat Andrea Stillman of Waterford have openly and publically said they oppose the project but tried to assure Broadwater that they can still be open minded about it.


"What are they trying to hide, or, conversely, are they simply saying that we will have no input here and that FERC is going to make the call, whether we like it or not? I found that reprehensible," says Julie Belaga, Broadwater Task Force.

Julie Belaga, of course, is the former US EPA regional director and is now on the board of Connecticut Fund for the Environment, which is staunchly opposed to Broadwater's plan (and, I hasten to add, properly opposed -- it's a terrible idea for Long Island Sound).

At least some of the Broadwater fight will be a public relations fight, or a fight for public opinion. If so, who won yesterday's skirmish?


Anonymous Bryan Brown said...


I'll take it as a given that the residents of Connecticut were satisfied with whatever state review was conducted of the Yankee Gas LNG storage project in Waterbury (www.yankeegas.com/AboutYG/expansion.asp)

You'd think that a 1.2 bcf storage facility located on the Naugatuck River would have garnered opposition from the same people who oppose Broadwater because they consider it a floating bomb.

I am always amazed at the rationalizations crafted by environmental advocates (and I include myself in that category) to support or oppose a particular project. Apparently, cables and pipelines are good (Cross Sound, Iroquois, Leidy to LI, Neptune and the cables associated with the LI Offshore Wind Farm) except when they are bad (Broadwater). Likewise, dumping in the Sound is bad, except when it's "our" harbor that needs to be dredged. Of course, local jurisdiction is an absolute necessity (Broadwater) except when it could get in the way (LI Offshore Wind Farm).

I'm looking hard to find a universal set of principles being applied in these cases. Do you see them?

6:43 PM  

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